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#62417 03/26/02 10:35 PM
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I'm reading The Time Machine over at bartleby.com and in the third chapter, first paragraph is the sentence "I suppose a suicide who holds a pistol to his skull feels much the same wonder at what will come next as I felt then." This sentence says to me that a suicide is a person, not an action. Is the word used incorrectly here or has the meaning slightly changed.


#62418 03/26/02 10:40 PM
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Dear JazzO: My dictionary gives as third definition " A person who commits suicide."

From Gilbert and Sullivan:

On a tree by a river a little tom-tit
Sang "Willow, titwillow, titwillow!"
And I said to him, "Dicky-bird, why do you sit
Singing 'Willow, titwillow, titwillow'?"
"Is it weakness of intellect, birdie?" I cried,
"Or a rather tough worm in your little inside?"
With a shake of his poor little head, he replied,
"Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!"

He slapped at his chest, as he sat on that bough,
Singing "Willow, titwillow, titwillow!"
And a cold perspiration bespangled his brow,
Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!
He sobbed and he sighed, and a gurgle he gave,
Then he plunged himself into the billowy wave,
And an echo arose from the suicide's grave--
"Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!"



#62419 03/26/02 10:56 PM
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that a suicide is a person, not an action

It's both, JazzO. This from the M-W Collegiate Dictionary:

Main Entry: 1 sui.cide
Pronunciation: 'sü-&-"sId
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin sui (general) of oneself + English -cide; akin to Old English & Old High German sIn his, Latin suus one's own, sed, se without, Sanskrit sva oneself, one's own
Date: 1643
1 a : the act or an instance of taking one's own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind b : ruin of one's own interests
2 : one that commits or attempts suicide

This only discusses the noun form of the word, there's also the verb. Funnily enough the other references to suicide in that dictionary are all to do with sport ... "suicide squad" for what you USns call 'football' (which I'm sure would also have war slang type usage) and "suicide squeeze" from baseball.

Hev

#62420 03/27/02 01:49 PM
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I've seen patricide employed as a noun as well and just assumed it was an archaic usage. Didn't occur to me that they might be contemporary until I noticed the definition of verbicide.
k



#62421 03/27/02 02:30 PM
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Funnily enough the other references to suicide in that dictionary are all to do with sport

What? No suicide blonde? I wondered at the phrase, used in an INXS song*, until I saw the phrase, with punchline, in a movie made in about 1930.





*Suicide Blonde

Suicide blonde was the colour of her hair
Like a cheap distraction
For a new affair...


http://www.lyricsdomain.com/lyrics/11964/



#62422 03/28/02 10:17 PM
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Now I feel just as sure as I'm sure that my name
Isn't Willow, titwillow, titwillow,
That 'twas blighted affection that made him exclaim
"Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!"
And if you remain callous and obdurate, I
Shall perish as he did, and you will know why,
Though I probably shall not exclaim as I die,
"Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!"


It's an affecting tale, and quite true. I knew the bird intimately. His devotion was something extraordinary.



#62423 03/28/02 11:38 PM
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Résumé

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smell awful;
You might as well live.


Dorothy Parker


#62424 03/29/02 12:51 AM
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German proverb on suicide: Why do it today, you can always do it tomorrow.


#62425 03/29/02 01:58 PM
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One of my favorite poems is about suicide.
I don't know remember who wrote it or where
I heard it. I've tried to find it on the
web, but no luck. It goes something like

To the Student Humorist, a Suicide at 30

We celebrate your ribald memory
oh dour-face youth who carved the mourner's bench
with knife of wit for weary eyes to see,
your agile turn of phrase designed to wrench
chuckles from teachers, chortles from the crowd,
your friends, your enemies in boredom's chains
eager to break their bondage, laugh aloud.

I now recall your grin, reward for pains to lift the load,
to turn the fun side out, to poke the rib of joy , evoke a shout,
prick vanity's balloon, shoot greed's kite down.
Your pungent wit we savored for a while,
and even now, remembering, we smile.


k



#62426 04/01/02 12:31 AM
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She made a M*A*S*H out of that!



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